Ms. Rachel Gemo's Notes

Head of Parish School (PK-12) 

In This Week's Notes For Your Reference

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Monday, February 18 - No School due to Presidents Day

  • Friday, February 22nd - All School Spirit Wear Day

  • Tuesday, February 26th - Election Day Chicago! SS Library Closed

  • Saturday, March 2 - First Reconciliation

  • Tuesday, March 5 - Mardi Gras/Palm Burning Service in Courtyard 8:10AM

  • Wednesday, March 6th - Ash Wednesday Lent Begins

  • Wednesday, March 6th - Finals Day 1

  • Thursday, March 7th - Finals Day 2

  • Friday, March 8th -STEAM Integration Day and All School Spirit Day

  • Week of March 10th - Spring Break - No School

  • Monday, March 18th - Classes Resume - First Day of Trimester 3

  • Saturday, March 23rd - 2019 GALA

Important Updates Regarding NCEA National Conference in April - PLEASE READ AND RESPOND by Friday, Feb 22nd

The principals learned on Thursday that the NCEA Conference in April will be one of the most attended conferences in decades. They are expecting anywhere between 9,000-10,000 attendees. They also suggested that we should provide some other transportation options for employees as McCormick Place has about 6000 parking spaces. Parking will be at a premium for sure. Also, we are not in the position to cover everyone’s parking or Uber/Lyft rides. So, instead, we are offering to charter a school bus to and from McCormick Place on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you think you would like to take advantage of this transportation option, please indicate this in the survey below. I don’t want to wait to charter the bus or buses, so please complete by Friday, Feb 22nd. Please use the link below. For your convenience, I also put the link to a PDF of the preliminary conference program.



Catechist Certification – NCEA Convention and Elective Equivalency

A number of principals have asked about whether NCEA Convention hours can count toward Catechist Certification requirements for teachers. The attached equivalency chart outlines NCEA Convention hours that can be applied to fulfill elective requirements. Teachers attending the conference will need to record their attendance on their electives form and submit the form once they have completed the required eight elective hours. For your convenience, the attached Catechist Certification Roadmaparticulates expectations for all teachers. Please contact Kenneth Velasquez in the Office of Lifelong Formation with any questions or concerns.

How to Teach Students to Apologize - Some helpful tips for something they don’t teach us to do in teacher school

Click here to read article 1

Click here to read article 2

Basketball Playoff Schedule

We are starting the basketball playoffs this week! They love seeing you in the stands!

5th Grade Boys Maroon - Saturday, 2/23 11:00AM @ SBPS

5th Grade Boys Gold - Saturday 2/23 10:00AM @ Alphonsus Academy

5th Grade Boys White - Saturday 2/23 9:00AM @ SBPS

5th Grade Girls Maroon - Sundsy 2/24 5:30 @ SBPS

5th Grade Girls Gold - Saturday 2/23 1:00PM @ SBPS

6th Grade Boys Maroon - Sunday 2/24 1:30PM @ SBPS

6th Grade Boys Gold - Saturday 2/23 - 1:00PM @ FXW

6th Grade Girls - Saturday 2/23 - 10:00AM @ SBPS

7th Grade Boys - Wednesday 2/27 - 7:00PM @ St. Viator

7th Grade Girls - Wednesday 2/20 - 7:00PM @ SBPS

8th Grade Boys Maroon - Thursday 2/28 - 8:00PM @ St. Viator

8th Grade Boys Gold - Thursday 2/21 - 5:00PM @ SBPS

8th Grade Girls Maroon - Thursday 2/28 - 7:00PM @ OSM

8th Grade Girls Gold - Thursday 2/21 - 8:00PM @ St. Viator

Full playoff brackets are available at

A Note about Faculty Lounge Treats

The HSA and other folks provide treats from time to time in the lounge. It is also a place where extra food/left overs are deposited. These items are there for EVERYONE to enjoy. However, these items are there for EACH of us to enjoy, not to take in mass quantities from the lounge. We “stock the lounge” so that teachers and staff have a little treat once in while. The lounge treats are not for individual teachers to “stock their classroom” with individual snacks. It was recently reported to me that a teacher witnessed another teacher leaving the lounge with a box of snacks, clearly more than the typical allotment. I don’t know if this is common practice, or just a one time happening. Please enjoy the treats as needed, but be mindful of the purpose of the treats and that they are for everyone. Take something to enjoy, but don’t hoard or be greedy, please. Also, if an employee witnesses this kind of behavior, please let me know so that I can address it directly. Thanks! RG

Note about the Teacher Work Space 3rd Floor Building One

Molly K and Kelly O took some time to clean and organize this space. Please be good stewards of this space and leave it as clean as before you used it, if not cleaner. We’d appreciate it greatly. Also, teachers should not be sending students into this room to retrieve paper and such. There are sharp objects in there and I don’t want anyone to get hurt.

There is also a large amount of black and brown construction paper in this space for teachers if you need some. Thanks! R

February Employee of the Month - Nomination Form

Please submit nominations by Feb 28th. This is a great way to acknowledge the positive efforts for a colleague.


Tuesday - PD Time - February 19th - We will all meet in Kittler Hall at 3:45PM for quick Gala Presentation and Update

1st-5th Grades: Catechetical Training on your own

Preschool and Kindergarten: Visit with Julie Ramski about AdvancEd Preschool Accreditation

Middle School: Final Exam work/prep and consultation with Mary D

High School: Final Exam work/prep

Need a No -Slip Rug Pad for Your office or classroom? We have a brand new one in Christa’s office. If you want it, please see Christa.

Thinking about going back to school? Critical Needs Scholarship

Each year the Archdiocese of Chicago awards the Critical Needs Scholarship to lay employees who are furthering their education in the areas of critical need in the diocese. This assistance is made possible through the commitment of the archdiocese and the generosity of the Catholic colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. Please read the attached letter and flyer for more information. An application andemployer form are included for those who qualify and are interested in applying.

News from DePaul University’s College of Education

DePaul University professors understand that the challenges have never been greater for those who lead our schools. The program helps to provide the intellectual tools and practical insight to be effective Catholic principals.

The Catholic Educational Leadership Program was designed by the DePaul College of Education to be rooted in both theory and praxis. Even the course History, Theology, and Philosophy of Catholic Education requires a marketing plan for a school grounded in faith and learning; the course Spiritual and Administrative Leadership of Catholic Schools helps leaders frame thoughtful calendars, understand governance challenges, and work with Boards and parent groups. Mentoring is provided gratis during and after the program.

Thinking about school administration? See attached program description or see RG for details and scholarship opportunities. It will be a gift to the future.


Teacher Appreciation First Friday of Every Month (new)

On the behalf on the Faculty Life Commitee we want to let everyone know if a free happy hour at the Waterhouse. The information is in the image attached. I will try to make it after Disney Club. It would be nice for everyone to get together! Emily.

NCEA April Conference Volunteers Needed - Do you want to lend a hand?

Thank you in advance to all of our schools for your help volunteering during the NCEA convention! This is a follow up to the special broadcast sent this morning. If you missed the email, you may read the letter here. Below is the link to a sign-up form to volunteer for the convention. We need over 600 volunteers total. We need and appreciate everyone’s help! We ask that all of our principals and teachers sign up for one slot. Volunteer slots are approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours in length.

NCEA Volunteer Form